Is Justice Department’s suit against DirecTV a game-changer in Dodgers’ SportsNet LA distribution?

lawsuitEd Desser, a longtime sports media executive based in Santa Monica, called Wednesday’s collusion lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department against DirecTV in Dodgers’ SportsNet LA three-year distribution mess “pretty extraordinary … just stunning.
“I can’t think of a situation like this in the 35 years that regional sports networks have been around. Every time we talk about the SportsNet LA situation, there has been the same conclusion: Nothing will change until something comes along to change the dynamics. Well, if there was ever something that could do it, it’s this.”
The suit against DirecTV, and new parent company AT&T refers to it a “ringleader” for what it called unlawful “orchestrating information sharing agreements” with competing cable companies.
In response to the 57-page complaint, AT&T released a statement attributed to general counsel David McAfee that read: “We respect the DOJ’s important role in protecting consumers, but in this case, which occurred before AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV, we see the facts differently. The reason why no other major TV provider chose to carry this content was that no one wanted to force all of their customers to pay the inflated prices that Time Warner Cable was demanding for a channel devoted solely to L.A. Dodgers baseball.  We make our carriage decisions independently, legally and only after thorough negotiations with the content owner. We look forward to presenting these facts in court.”
More on the story at this link.

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